Smeenge and Ruijter finish the Andalucia Bike Race in seventeenth place

Villafranca de Córdoba was the setting for the time trial on a cross country-like course of 31 kilometers on Thursday. The short work suits Smeenge and Ruijter less well and they were satisfied with the 24th place behind the winners Alleman-Rabensteiner. “We knew that the shorter course was less convenient for us and we did not take any risks with a view to the Queens stage of 80 kilometers that is scheduled for tomorrow,” says Ruijter. A wise choice because in that long stage around Córdoba both KMC bikers rode further and further forward to eventually finish thirteenth behind the German world champion Andreas Seewald with his Czech teammate Martin Stošek. The Thirteenth place resulted in a fifteenth place in the general classification.

On Saturday the race ended with a short stage of only 46 kilometers but the devil was in the tail for Smeenge-Ruijter. A mechanical failure caused delays, but they kept their cool and managed to limit the damage in 25th place. As a result, they fell back to place seventeen in the final standings, but all in all they finished well in the top twenty and with that both men also qualify for the World Championship marathon. The last stage was won by the Germans Simon Stiebjahn and Martin Frey, with the leading position of Andreas Seewald and Martin Stošek never in danger. Alleman-Rabensteiner finished second ahead of Hans Becking with his Portuguese teammate José Dias.